Flora B. Andrews
In 1953, Flora Blackstone Andrews became the first African American female Supervisor of Pupil Personnel for the segregated Anne Arundel County Maryland Public Schools. She served as a principal and later an elementary supervisor, prior to her selection as the Supervisor for Pupil Personnel.
Flora began her work as a principal, having already acquired her full four-year degree and certification to teach elementary school students in 1943, followed by attaining her high school certification. After fulfilling her role as Principal at Skidmore Elementary School, she became a supervisor of elementary schools in 1945. Two years later, Andrews decided to work in the department of Pupil Personnel to help alleviate the issues and risks associated with school dropouts within the segregated county schools. She was appointed to the role of Supervisor of Pupil Personnel in 1953.
Flora was the eldest of ten children, born in 1910 and raised in a segregated Annapolis, Maryland. Her mother was a homemaker, and her father worked, for a time, at the United States Naval Academy Postgraduate School. Her parents instilled in all their children a love for continuous learning and a drive for self-determination. Flora had a propensity for learning, earning her bachelor’s degree from Morgan College (now Morgan State University), Baltimore, MD; her Certificate in Education from Bowie Normal School (now Bowie State University), Bowie, MD; and her master’s degree from the Hampton Institute (now Hampton University), Hampton, VA.
She married USMC Tech Sergeant Clifford J. Andrews before the start of WWII. And apart from the school system, Flora was very active in her home church, the Old Fourth Ward community as the times demanded, a supervisor of adult sewing projects, and a teacher of adult education under the founder of Annapolis’ own Fleet Business School (1934), Mrs. A. Gordon Fleet. The school continues today as a fully accredited, for-profit private institution operating in Riva, Maryland.
After Andrew’s retirement from the school system, she became an entrepreneur in 1941, partnering with her husband to own and run the Parole Restaurant renamed the Harlem Beer Garden in Annapolis, Maryland. The restaurant is mentioned in author Philip L. Brown’s The Other Annapolis. The restaurant combined her love of home-style cooking and connecting with people. The name of the restaurant was in homage to the Black Renaissance neighborhood of Harlem, New York City, once home to numerous great achievers in various fields. The original site of her restaurant was 1990 West Street, Annapolis, Maryland.
Mrs. Andrews continued bringing people together and encouraging others to self-improvement through her business until her death in 1973.